Ontario invests in mental health services

The Ontario government announced yesterday a plan to offer Ontarians easier and better access to mental health and addiction services, according to a news release from the provinces Ministry of Health.

Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to fund the Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addiction System, which will serve within Ontario Health. The plan includes an aim to improve quality, expand existing services, introduce innovative solutions and improve access to mental health and addiction services in the province. 

“We know how important it is for Ontarians and their families to have access to high-quality services when and where they need them,” said Christine Elliott, the deputy premier and minister of health, in a press release.

The press releases said that anyone living in Ontario will be able to call a toll free number, or be able to use a website with online chat to get the mental health support and resources they need. 

“By improving the availability and quality of mental health and addictions supports, and by better connecting Ontarians with these services, this new roadmap will help us build healthier communities by alleviating growing pressures on our hospitals and, in doing so, significantly support our goal of ending hallway health care,” Elliott said. 

The government is also investing $20 million in 2020 to launch Mindability, a program that aims to teach Ontarians aged 10 and up the skills to deal with managing their mental well being using evidence based cognitive behavioural therapy. After being assessed by a trained mental health clinician, people will have access to services and support including individual therapy counseling, and personal workbooks.

According to the release, Mindability is funded through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan with no out of pocket costs for any of the patients. ‘

The roadmap has been welcomed by Ontario Health and the Ontario Medical Association

“It’s a privilege to be able to support improved services and supports for Ontarians through the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence,” said Matthew Anderson, the president and chief executive officer of Ontario Health. “We will work with people with lived experience as well as service providers on the frontlines in community agencies, primary care clinics and hospitals.”

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